Now playing at Carnegie Hall……

Last week, I was cataloging a new book for the juvenile section about learning to play the guitar and I was thinking that we don’t carry many books for kids about learning an instrument.  We do have a wide assortment of books in the adult section about playing the guitar, piano, and various other instruments, but fewer for children.  I guess that is because children who start an instrument are not doing so on their own, but rather are shipped off to music lessons by their parents.  Adults, on the other hand, often pick up an instrument later in life and try to learn on their own, which is why they need instructional books.  Music has been such a large part of my life that I am always on the lookout for a great music story.

Google and YouTube recently began a contest of sorts whereby amateur musicians submitted videos of themselves playing their instruments for people to view.  Thousands of people across the world were vying for their one chance to play at Carnegie Hall with what is being called “The YouTube Symphony”. Ninety-six people from 30 countries were chosen, sent music to learn and on April 15th, will gather in New York City at the world’s most famous musical venue to perform.

Google, who owns YouTube, generously paid for the tickets for each performer to join the rest of the symphony, which was decided upon much like American Idol.  Over 3000 submissions were narrowed down by music professionals to 200 finalists.  Then, YouTube watchers voted on their favourites and the 96 winners were decided.

CNN has a great video describing what went into the process, along with a few interviews with some of the winners that you can watch right here.  But if you’d really like to get into the minds and hearts of the people that submitted their videos, you’ll have to spend a few minutes watching this great video:

You can purchase tickets to this bound-to-be-great event from the Carnegie Hall website if you’ll be in New York on Wednesday night.  They’ll be performing a very eclectic program from Mozart, to Villa-Lobos to 20th century composer John Cage and a piece by Tan Dun known as his Internet Symphony #1, the “Eroica” movement.  You can hear this movement in its entirety performed last year by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Will there be more events such as this where people from around the world can do something amazing together, all being brought together through YouTube?  Probably.  Watch your computer screen for more….

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